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Sports

AFP
August 14, 2017

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Lukaku makes dream debut, Shelvey dismissal sparks Spurs

Lukaku makes dream debut, Shelvey dismissal sparks Spurs

LONDON: Romelu Lukaku enjoyed a dream Premier League debut for Manchester United as the Belgian’s brace inspired a 4-0 rout of West Ham, while Jonjo Shelvey’s dismissal was the pivotal moment in Tottenham’s 2-0 win at Newcastle on Sunday.

Accelerating on Marcus Rashford’s pass, Lukaku drilled a powerful strike in off the post to put United ahead in their Premier League opener at Old Trafford.Lukaku was virtually unplayable at times and he doubled United’s advantage in the 53rd minute with a bullet header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s free-kick.

Substitute Anthony Martial added United’s, slotting past Joe Hart in the 87th minute, before Paul Pogba’s 90th minute strike sent Mourinho’s men to the top of the table above Huddersfield on goal difference.

Lukaku wasn’t the only impressive United debutant, with Nemanja Matic delivering a solid display that underlined why Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was so miffed his club sanctioned the £40 million sale of the Serbia midfielder to a title rival.At St James’ Park, Shelvey was sent off early in the second half for deliberately treading on Tottenham star Dele Alli, who was on the ground only yards from referee Andre Marriner.

Alli got his revenge by firing Tottenham ahead in the 61st minute with a cool close-strike from Christian Eriksen’s superb lofted pass.

Following Tottenham’s Danny Rose had ranted about the club’s failure to sign quality players during the close-season, it was fitting that the injured left-back’s replacement Ben Davies was the man to increase his side’s lead in the 70th minute.

Alli, Eriksen and Harry Kane opened up Newcastle with a flowing move before Davies produced a clinical finish.Having finishing second last term, Tottenham will hope their winning start bodes well for a sustained bid to dethrone Chelsea.

Pochettino’s side host the champions next weekend in their first league match at Wembley following their move to the national stadium while White Hart Lane is being redeveloped this season.By then, the Argentine would like to have added to his squad after a frustrating transfer window.   —AFP

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